I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
In 1270 England, orphan peasant girl Auriella flees her village fearing people will call her a witch after she saves a family from a cottage fire without getting a single burn on her. It's the start of her adventure to learn the truth about herself and her innate fire magic. Her journey is filled with pixies, witches, elves, dwarfs, and all sorts of magical creatures.
The Watchers: Knight Of Light is the first book in a series. It's marketed as young adult but I can see it appealing you a younger crowd because of the fantasy element and young, thirteen year old heroine. There are some scenes of violence that don't scrimp on the description so it's not really for sensitive children (or even adults). One whipping scene in particular even upset me and I'm well past the target age range.
Auriella herself just seemed to be there and doesn't really propel the story forward on her own strengths as a character. Sure she jumps into a burning building and gets the plan in motion to escape a witch's cottage but nearly everything seems to be a way to showcase magical creatures and mythology instead of having well rounded characters. Auriella fades into the background when faced with stronger secondary characters and just becomes the voice narrating the tale instead of someone I can really root for. I was also a little confused on why the story needed to be set in England. With all the mythical/magical elements highlighted, it would have been stronger to just create a fantasy world instead of setting it in England.
The writing moves along at a fast pace which is great for the genre. The chapters are short and usually end on enough of a cliffhanger that you want to read the next one which is, again, good. It kept me turning pages though I never felt completely invested in the story and characters.
Overall, I didn't dislike the book but I didn't love it either. I think it would be perfect for 10 -14 age range who enjoy fantasy and main characters around their own age.